OK guys and gals, bare with this newbie...I'll supply as brief of a recap as possible before asking for any input that y'all may have.
Started with two Nucs in mid January, Alpha and Bravo...both good looking Nucs, but Bravo was the stud of the two.
Moved both to their hive boxes in early February and started feeding via internal covers...got suspicious because Bravo would not take syrup and Alpha was sucking it down. Long story short, have went back and forth thinking that Bravo was having serious problems. Inspected yesterday and I'm now convinced, things are not good. I either have a drone laying queen or I lost my queen and have drone laying workers in my newbie opinion.
While Alpha is booming, Now three boxes tall, basically all full of bees with lots of activity and drawing comb and storing nectar nicely in the top box. Bravo has maybe 3 or 4 frames of bees in the bottom box, have a frame of foundation that they haven't even started drawing out. When I added box three to Alpha about 2 weeks ago, I put box 2 on Bravo, wishful thinking on my part :), They done nothing with it.
In Bravo's first box, I see some larva, but EVERY bit of covered brood is drone brood....very spotty.
I need a game plan, I've had a couple of conversations with Schawee about my situation who's been super nice and helpful and we've actually devised a game plan to move forward. I'm just wanting to throw it out and get some feedback on the details of it.
I know there's several options for handling this type of situation. We've decided my best bet is to do a newspaper combine with Alpha hive and to try to do a split and introduce a new queen in about three weeks.
So...How best to do that? Kind of thought we had a game plan, but the more I think about the details, I think it's problematic.
Therefore, this is my latest thought...
Reduce Bravo to one box since it's really only 3 or 4 frames of bees and they've done nothing with the second box anyway. Put that box as the bottom box with a single sheet of newspaper (I assume one sheet)...with some slits (how many?) and sprayed with sugar water (or left dry?).
Place all thee boxes of existing Alpha on top of it. I have a small top entrance that I assume I could leave in place. If I understand correctly, this would cause the workers of Alpha to pass through Bravo and help the merging process.
Originally, we were thinking of adding Bravo between boxes 2 and 3 of Alpha, but Alpha is so full of bees, I don't think that can work.
Sorry for rambling on....Just want to try and do this thing right......
Thanks for any and all advice! :)